DOE staff use personal email like Hillary did

Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton isn’t the only one who used a personal email account to conduct government business, with sole discretion over which emails she kept or deleted. US Department of Energy employees routinely use private email accounts for public business and decide on their own which emails to keep or delete, according to the DOE Office of Inspector General. The US government employs more than 13,000 people at the department.

“Department officials noted that guidelines within which employees could send or receive work-related email from their personal accounts had not been established, making archival and retrieval of potential records difficult or impossible,” the IG said in a special report just released.

The department’s email applications also “did not meet federal requirements for records management because they relied solely on the use for identification and did not prevent the modification and deletion of records.”

Many employees didn’t know better. “In most cases, users were unaware that they were even responsible for identifying which emails should be retained as records,” the IG said.

Investigators found widespread ignorance about how to identify and archive emails, including among “senior department officials” in the National Nuclear Security Administration. Less than half of employees interviewed said they manually archive emails, as DOE recommended.

The Department also “had not effectively implemented the archival and retrieval process related to email records. Specifically, the methods and timeframes for archival and retrieval were often inconsistent and, as a result, limited the Department's ability to manage its email. Notably, the Office of the Chief Information Officer – which manages email services for numerous programs – had not established an effective mechanism for retaining email records. To be clear, under existing policies recovery of email may be possible for varying periods of time, however, the, process would be very difficult and cost prohibitive.”

The US Office of Management and Budget told all federal agencies to use automated software for retaining emails in 2012, but only one DOE office now does so. There is a government-wide 2016 deadline for implementing the automated system.

Meanwhile it has been reported that classified emails passed through commercial email services like Google and AOL on their path to or from a private server maintained by Hillary Clinton when she was secretary of state, but so far, the US government appears to have done little to retrieve or secure the messages.
Also, US State Department email records suggest one official attempted to keep discussions about Hillary Clinton's private communications out of email messages that could one day become public through the Freedom of Information Act.

In the midst of the ongoing Hillary Clinton email scandal, a new survey found one-third of government employees have used their personal email for official business.

Alfresco, the ECM software company, looked into how employees use technology to collaborate in the workplace, and the results show Clinton isn’t the only government employee potentially compromising national security by choosing not to use their official government account.

Like the former first lady, the survey found 9 percent of the roughly 150 US federal employees it polled solely used their personal accounts for work purposes. And just 56 percent of government workers said they always take data security and privacy into consideration while sharing information with external stakeholders and clients.